* June 5th…
A nonprofit designed to help with upkeep at the Illinois state fairgrounds plans on selling naming rights to fair buildings to help pay for improvements.
The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is in negotiations with corporations for naming rights to various buildings, Chairman John Slayton told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2sw4P7K ). The foundation hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million a year to pay for improvements, he said.
“It will start to pick up soon,” Slayton said. “The naming rights are going to be our biggest dollars.”
* June 12th…
Almost all of the 170-plus buildings on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and the more than 20 on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds have structural damage that will cost an estimated $180 million to repair.
To fund some of the repairs, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is offering naming rights for damaged buildings.
John Slayton, chairman of the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, said many of the buildings need new roofs and shingles, and there are plumbing and electrical issues as well.
Slayton said the foundation has started talking to corporations about naming rights or sponsorships that will allow them to place their name on certain fairground buildings.
* June 17th…
State fair naming rights in Iowa and Oklahoma have often been cited as potential models for the Illinois State Fair, though the question remains whether a private foundation for fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin has that authority.
Discussions continue with potential sponsors — including for the iconic Coliseum in Springfield that’s been closed by safety concerns since October — while attorneys for the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation explore the legal issue.
“We’re waiting on an opinion out of the governor’s legal office,” said John Slayton, chairman of the foundation board.
The key question is whether approval for naming-rights sales is required from the Illinois General Assembly, according to Slayton. The hope, he said, is to avoid the kind of legislative standoff that prevented approval of a state-sanctioned fair foundation.